Suspect Arrested in Connection With Fatal Shooting of Louisville Toddler Girl, Father

Authorities in Kentucky arrested a man in connection with the fatal shooting of two people, including a toddler girl, while they were both inside a family-owned home in Louisville’s Jacobs neighborhood last week.

Evan Ross, 28, of Louisville was taken into custody late on Wednesday after he turned himself in to the Louisville Metro Police Department, the department wrote in a statement.

Detectives have charged Ross with two counts of facilitation of murder after he confessed his “involvement in the murder of 3-year-old Trinity Randolph and her father Brandon Waddles.”

According to an arrest citation obtained by The Associated Press, investigators located a vehicle of interest near the shooting after reviewing surveillance footage of the scene. During further investigation, officials learned that Ross is the owner of the vehicle. Additional details surrounding the shooting or a possible motive was not provided by authorities.

Waddles, 21, was found dead on the scene with multiple gunshot wounds after police arrived at the home on Kahlert Avenue shortly after 1 p.m. on Aug. 14, a Louisville Metro Police Department spokeswoman said, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Trinity was rushed to the Norton Children’s Hospital with undisclosed gunshot wounds and died from her injuries shortly upon arrival. Officials ruled both of the victims’ cause of death as a homicide shortly upon launching the investigation.

“My beautiful niece, Trinity [Randolph] was murdered at her grandmother’s home, shot to death at only 3 years old,” Tyasia Lashay, a family member of the victim wrote on a GoFundMe fundraiser set up in support of the victims’ family.

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Tynekia Randolph, 3, from Louisville, Ky. in a file photo. (GoFundMe)

“A fun loving energetic soul whose life was snatched along with her father’s,” Lashay continued.

The incident shocked the community as Trinity was playing in her “Frozen” dollhouse at the time she was shot along her father, a family member told the Courier-Journal.

“I got the call that my grandchild wasn’t here anymore,” the girl’s grandfather, Tyronn Howlett told agency WLKY News. “It’s just sad and senseless.”

“Children don’t have anything to do with it,” he continued. “They are innocent people, and they should never be in whatever an adult has going on between that.”

Detectives spent hours investigating in the neighborhood, knocking on doors, speaking with residents, and trying to figure out a motive for yet another senseless homicide in Louisville, a WLKY News reporter at the scene said.

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A gun lies on the ground inside a police barricade following a shooting in Jeffersontown, Ky., in this file photo taken in 2018. (Timothy D. Easley/AP Photo)

Among many other U.S. states and cities, Louisville has seen a surge in homicide cases for 2020 compared to last year’s statistics. Last Friday’s fatal shootings marked the 97th homicide in 2020 and the numbers of shootings and homicides are on track to break the city’s record in 2016 when 117 murders were reported.

Christopher 2X, a community activist whose nonprofit organization “Game Changers” promotes early childhood education with the goal of positively transforming the lives of young people and keeping them away from violence on the streets, told Wave 3 News it is really troubling to see the total amount of homicides from Aug. 1 to Aug. 14 already add up to 16 fatal shootings in just a two week period.

He added that he is worried, seeing that “more individuals who are connected to the shootings [are] younger,” and the majority of those involved in the fatal shootings are people in their mid-20s.

“The shootings that are occurring at an alarming volume right now, that’s clear evidence that individuals who partake in shootings don’t fear consequences,” Christopher previously told the outlet.

Louisville police said the homicide investigation of Waddles and Trinity remains active and anyone with any information is asked to call the anonymous tipline at 574-LMPD.